As vote nears, Pelosi's ratings fall to all-time low

A new Gallup poll finds that Nancy Pelosi's favorable rating is 29 percent — the lowest it has been since Pelosi became Speaker of the House. Fifty-six percent of those surveyed have an unfavorable view of Pelosi.

That two-to-one unfavorable rating is a stark contrast to the two-to-one favorable rating Pelosi had when she took the Speaker's chair in January 2007. Back then, 44 percent of those surveyed by Gallup had a favorable impression of Pelosi, while 22 percent had an unfavorable impression of her.

Breaking Pelosi's ratings down by party, just 21 percent of independents have a favorable impression of her, while 58 percent have an unfavorable impression of her. Among Republicans, she is at eight percent favorable, 86 percent unfavorable, and among Democrats, she is at 62 percent favorable, 22 percent unfavorable.

One might expect Pelosi's favorable rating to have risen among Democrats in recent weeks and months, as the midterm elections approach and partisan positions harden. But Pelosi is down five points among Democrats since May, when she had a 67 percent favorable rating. Among independents, she is down 11 points since May.

Pelosi's ratings are approaching the lows reached by former Speaker Newt Gingrich in his most unpopular days. In April 1997, Gingrich had a 24 percent favorable rating and a 62 percent unfavorable rating. If present trends continue, Pelosi is headed in that direction.

Reading the new ratings, and with voting less than two weeks away, Republicans are sure to conclude that keeping up the attack on Pelosi is a smart political strategy. As for Democrats — well, a number of House Democrats have already abandoned the Speaker, and the new numbers suggest other Democrats will be tempted to do so, as well.

“Pelosi's image has gone from bad to worse in recent months, with independents, in particular, growing more critical of her,” Gallup concludes. “Her resulting 2-to-1 negative to positive image presents a challenge for congressional Democrats as they try to convince voters to send them back to Washington for another term. While President Obama may be of some benefit on the campaign trail in terms of firing up the Democratic base to turn out, Pelosi's subdued favorability among Democrats and highly negative image among independents suggest she is a far riskier person for Democratic candidates to be associated with — something Republicans who are using her in ads against their opponents have already concluded.”

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